LINCOLN, Maine — Whenever Leigh Ware needed gravel or concrete for his business, Ware’s Power Equipment of Main Street, he would get it from GE Goding & Son Inc., one of the largest suppliers of construction concrete, sand and gravel in the Lincoln Lakes region.
That’s why Ware was sad to see the 62-year-old company abruptly shut its doors after its usual winter layoff.
“You hate to see a business go out after it was around for that long,” he said Wednesday. “Now businesses around here have to go out of town to buy their concrete.”
That might change shortly. Sargent Corp., which includes the former H.E. Sargent of Old Town and has 400 employees in seven states, is negotiating to buy the former GE Goding & Son, one of its leaders said.
“We have a ways to go yet,” said George Thomas, a vice president with Sargent. “We are waiting on the signing of an [an intent of sale] agreement with them, but nothing has been signed yet.”
Sargent specifically is interested in Goding’s gravel-pit operations in Lincoln and “some of” its cement-mixing stations, Thomas said. The company had stations in Baileyville, Lincoln, Machias and in the Katahdin region.
Jeffrey Goding, an owner of GE Goding & Son Inc., was out of the area on business and did not immediately return telephone messages seeking comment on Wednesday. Goding is representing his family or company in the talks, Thomas said.
“We are still negotiating with those folks,” Thomas said.
Sargent handles construction site preparation, wind power site exploration and site work, airport runway construction and helps build athletic fields. The company has several offices and gravel pits in Maine, according to its Web site, sargent-corp.com.
If all goes well, the companies will conclude their negotiations with Sargent signing a letter of intent to buy Goding & Son. Then Sargent will perform its due diligence and complete the transaction, Thomas said. No timeline has been set.
Ware and Ruth Birtz, Lincoln’s economic development assistant, hoped Goding’s would reopen. Companies that need concrete or crushed gravel typically travel to Emery Lee & Sons in Millinocket or toward Bangor, Ware said.
“There are people who are filling in for [Goding], but I would still prefer to have someone local,” he said. “It costs more to have to get your material from out of town.”